According to Ukrainian officials Russia could be set to stage a false flag operation which has been seen many times over the past year of the war in Ukraine.
On Tuesday Belarusian Ministry of Defence claimed that they have seen a build up of “Ukrainian forces” near to the border of Belarus.
President Alexander Lukashenko stated earlier this month that Belarus will only join Vladimir Putin’s war if they are attacked and it appears that Moscow could be trying to force his hand, according to the US based think tank the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
The ISW said, “[We] continue to assess that Belarusian or Russian attack on northern Ukrainian regions is highly unlikely, but Russia seeks to force Lukashenko’s hand or blame Ukraine for expanding the war to undermine support for Kyiv.”
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The ISW added, “Such a false flag operation could also aim to fix Ukrainian forces at the northern border in an effort to weaken Ukrainian defenses in eastern Ukraine and preparations for counter-offensive operations.”
The ISW have warned that Moscow’s false flag operation would most likely stretch out Ukrainian forces near Belarus to weaken defences in the east to help Putin’s forces allowing possible progress to be made around Bakhmut.
ISW cited Ukrainian intelligence officials who claim that “Russian convoys with unmarked military equipment and personnel dressed in uniforms resembling those worn by the Ukrainian military,” were seen near to the Belarus border in Russia’s Chernihiv Oblast region.
The Russian MOD said on Thursday, according to state-run news agency Tass, “Ukrainian saboteurs participating in the staged invasion will be dressed in the uniform of the military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.”
The Russian Ministry of Defence have claimed that Ukrainian troops will dress in Russian uniforms to invade Moldova, this is another false flag operation that Moscow could attempt in the breakaway region of Transnistria, the Moldovan government denies that Kyiv would make such a move.
ISW warned that the Kremlin are also planning to manipulate “information conditions to stage a false flag operation” in Transnistria, a Russian-occupied region of Moldova who claims independence.
The ISW said Moscow’s claims that Kyiv are planning a “false flag” operation on Transnistria is a “false narrative,” which “does not indicate that Putin intends to attack Moldova,” but instead the goal is “an escalation in his ongoing efforts to undermine the Moldovan state.”
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